Internet business has come into full bloom with all the diversities and complexities associated with such enterprises. New technology enters the arena in a constant stream of improvements and efficiencies. Occasionally the Internet’s underlying infrastructure takes a huge leap. With the full development of HTML5, a whole new generation of ideas and devices are in the wings waiting to be born.
HTML5 will add another layer to the net known as the “Mobile Web”. In February 2012 Google gave a presentation based off of a CATI study conducted by Ipsos Gmbh and an Enumeration Study by TNS Infratest Gmbh. Online interviews were conducted with private smartphone owners who used their phone regularly to access the Internet. Owners surveyed were in 26 countries, 18 years or older with 1,000 participants chosen for each country. The study found accessing the net by smartphone or by PC happens nearly equally. Smartphone major usage occurs at work, on-the-go, at stores and in restaurants. Activities involving comparing prices on merchandise, finding local eateries and locating local events ranked as the top three.
What companies did to accommodate these rapidly developing trends is create mobile tactics. The time has come for companies to begin developing mobile strategies. HTML5 implementation with its cross devices and cross platforms means business must have a strategy in place with designated leaders or they will become overwhelmed by the amount of changes taking place over the next four years. Mobile commerce profits will equal Web commerce profits in the next three to five years. Websites having mobile friendly displays and interaction will become the next major set of market players.
Mature Mobile Strategy
Mature mobile strategies clearly map business goals in measurable mobile outcomes. Investments into to apps and associated technologies become based on usage and performance from user’s needs. Business divisions or sections have assigned personnel who know how the local connects to central mobile hubs. They know what the processes are for connection, monitoring and evaluation. Companies promote brands on the web and now mobile will become part of that larger strategy. Mobile insights must have a place in the organization to become shared and must have mechanisms to receive feedback. Weighing the mobile impact against present needs, and costs give insight into how to invest and how to create transformational goals, which should stream into larger strategic goals. Constant alignment becomes a practice. Business strategy becomes accomplished by the digital experience which in turn creates strategic objectives that allow for governance which then creates a mobile strategy that is addressed by technology determined by user needs.
White Space Networks
At the same time HTML5 is occurring so are white space networks supporting numerous connections that will fulfill the vision dubbed the Internet of Everything. Cisco defines the Internet of Everything as the bringing together of people, data, processes and networked connections. Information becomes goals that turn into actions which create new capabilities and unprecedented economic opportunity for countries, businesses and individuals. The Internet becomes a network of networks.
Html5 has been infiltrating the web silently for some time now, but in 2013, it will become obviously prominent as flow increases radically. The increasing demands from consumers using smart phones gave the needed pressure for driving the revamping of present ways and architectures. Global conferences such as M2M (machine to machine) have explored all the possibilities of making seamless wireless networks which work with any device created in recent years.
The IMS Research report in November 2012 states the total number of global M2M connections will hit around 326 million by 2016 and at 107million in 2011. In conjunction, Oxford University declared in its “Understanding Weightless” book that M2M connections will reach 50 billion by 2020. Depending on which research report read and the categorization, M2M connections have around a 27 percent growth rate and rising.
Based on that data and the idea of “machine to machine”(M2M) networks HTML5 infrastructure ensures consumers cloud access anytime, anyplace, anywhere with any device—paradise on earth.
Native Versus HTML5
Native apps are applications created specifically for a certain platform which are downloaded to a device. Native apps work well on the platform designed for and are downloaded by the millions. Why change at all if the native applications work so well?
Native apps at this point are diversified and serve many needs online and offline. Native apps are compartmentalized. Each app serves only one platform and is created in one programming language. Apps coming graphics heavy at this point function best in the native app environment, but HTML5 is rapidly catching up. Within that platform, all the features work. Within that device itself, it is seamless.
What happens when a person wants to share an app with a friend who is on a different type of smartphone or network? What if the app so loved on a phone will not work with the platform of a tablet or even a PC? Then all the work created on one device cannot become easily transferred to the other devices. If the device becomes broken or lost then all the work is lost.
HTML5 apps are better known as mobile web applications are built by web processes and accessed through a browser. HTML5 apps work well even though the development is still in the early stages. HTML5 apps work on many platforms and with many devices since the browser houses the application and not a specific device. Changing out devices does not cause any loss of work.
Some websites now have both native apps and HTML5 apps available for use. Most users will notice little difference between the two web pages. HTML5 apps are released in any form at any time since it is simply part of the infrastructure of the net. Updates come automatically without a user having to do anything. Mobile web apps are paid for by advertisers or by a subscription fee for the whole site with the app coming as a part of the package.
Mobile apps have not reached the level native apps have simply because mobile apps are a newer technology. Presently, web apps can access only certain features on some devices within their platform. Since apps are not sold in a specific store per se, the apps are harder to locate. HTML5 linking has not been completed across the web so not everything is fully functional yet. As with any new programming implemented at a global scale, not all the issues have been worked out fully.
Transitioning to HTML5
HTML5 accommodates consumers continuing demand for web sites that are mobile friendly. Whether at work or play consumers want to access the Internet on their phone without much fuss. HTML4 is outdated for today’s present needs. Consumers are increasingly using audio and video and own more than one device. Whatever device a consumer takes along they want full access to their favorite sites and information.
A mobile workforce has developed and reached levels where such infrastructure for devices is necessary to do business. Many professionals and workers spend little time at the desk. Instead an army of professionals called road warriors, corridor cruisers, and field forces do their job by laptop, tablet or smart phone. This trend is increasing since several major telecommunications corporations have self-provisioned by giving certain workgroups of their workforce tablets to meet their business needs. Also among corporate a trend named BYOD (bring your own device) is developing where the company buys the device chosen by the user that most suits their needs and they bring that to meetings and workshops. This makes the cross platform and cross device philosophy of HTML5 most engaging and enticing.
Native apps and HTML5 are not an either or choice. Many companies are marrying the two. In a Business Insider article November 2012 a summary of a Business Insider Intelligence Report showed 63% are actively developing HTML5 while 31% have plans in place to start using HTML5 among developers groups. How many companies are approaching this is to build apps in HTML5 code as the base code one time and then tweak it for the various platforms in the devices used by that company. Best of all it deals with the reality of the transition phase where for a time both types of apps will be used and available. Another business trend developing is companies forming such as PhoneGap that take HTML5 and wrap it in a “container” so the app can be sold in a native app store. How smart is that.
Revolutionizing the Web Using HTML5
For the last two years, the cry has been “the cloud is coming” and it has in industries. Who is fueling the coming consumer cloud? Businesses continue to put in infrastructure, but who has begun organizing the universal gateways for massive consumer use?
According to World Wide Web Consortium’s October HTML5 draft, HTML5 will create detailed processing models with the sole purpose of implementing interoperable operations across the globe becoming the foundation of the Internet. HTML5 formats structure the web for natural language or sematic searching which is a better way to search for information. New elements have been initiated in the code that defines a piece of content on the web as a generic document, blog entry, news article, or sections of web pages.
For audio and video, a long list of new code is directed toward tracking and highlighting text, embedding, and marking references. New attributes will designate consistency across media with easier methods of sharing elements even in multiple streams. Now along with the revolution is evolution of the web at the most basic levels.
High Quality Content
High quality content is the mantra across the web for writing, but also it has become the mantra for the infrastructure of the web as well. HTML5 comes modeled on content infrastructure. Elements now are nested and according to WW3C’s own documents “what is allowed as children or descendants” will occur under defined elements. The HTML5 set up is remarkably different from the Html4 content model. The focus of Html 5 is increasing flow across all the media and ensuring making finding any piece of high quality information needed quickly.
Shift to User Centered
Until recently Internet direction has been determined by individuals and companies creating programming code, software and then a second tier of companies coming behind and exploring all the possible ways to make money from the technology. HTML5 is being driven by consumer demand with the rise of smart phones and tablets that allow access to the Internet on the go.
Companies that cater to mobile users will make much money since most of the world sees a smart phone as a necessity for doing business. Just ask a rural African or Indian farmer how he gets top price for his crops at the market now and one will find them using smart phones and mobile web. Urban consumers do not like going to a favorite site on their phone and tablet and not being able to access what they want because the mobile platform is not there to do it.
What Does It Mean?
Many businesses have reached the point where customization and individualization of products and services catch consumer eyes and make a profit. HTML5 apps are simply a continuing extension of this. As far as hybridization where old and new are remixed and synthesized into something useful that has been the cultural pattern among the younger generations for some time. The web ecosystem is reflecting what has been occurring culturally across the globe and across generations. After all apps, technology, and the Internet centers on people, communication, sharing and trusting. Though at times one gets lost in the wonder of money, programming code and technology the beating heart of the Internet has always been finding ways for people to freely share information and to create whatever their heart desires to make theirs or someone else’s life easier.